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Trump seeks return to spotlight at CPAC summit

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"Have a good life. We will see you soon."

U.S. President Donald Trump will appear in public for the first time since leaving office last month, speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.

A source familiar with Trump's plans told Reuters, "he’ll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

His address will come as his Republican party appears riven between a faction unwaveringly loyal to the 45th President, and another seeking to put Trump behind them.

The former reality TV star's tumultuous four years in office were capped off by his second impeachment trial, this time on charges he incited an insurrection that lead to the violent Capitol riot on January 6th.

Ten Republican representatives and seven Republican senators sided with Democratic lawmakers against Trump.

Even though he voted to acquit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a blistering speech blaming Trump for the violence.

"President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."

That widened an already growing gulf between the ex-president and the most powerful elected Republican in the country.

The CPAC forum is a chance for political hopefuls and presidential contenders to prove their conservative bonafides. This year's speaker list includes former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Notably absent from the event are two high-profile Republicans who were once close allies of Trump: former Vice President Mike Pence, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Pence drew hostile criticism from the the president for his role in certifying the 2020 election results despite Trump's false claims the outcome was fraudulent. Haley condemned Trump after the Capitol riot in an interview with Politico.

Another source told Reuters Haley requested to meet with Trump recently at his Florida estate, but was rebuffed.

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: Have a good life. We will see you soon.

- US President Donald Trump will appear in public for the first time since leaving office last month, speaking at a meeting of the US Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.

A source familiar with Trump's plans told Reuters, "he'll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement." His address will come as his Republican party appears riven between a faction unwaveringly loyal to the 45th President, and another seeking to put Trump behind them.

The former reality TV star's tumultuous four years in office were capped off by his second impeachment trial, this time on charges he incited an insurrection that led to the violent Capital riot on January 6th. 10 Republican representatives and seven Republican senators sided with Democratic lawmakers against Trump. Even though he voted to acquit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a blistering speech blaming Trump for the violence.

MITCH MCCONNELL: President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.

- That widened an already growing gulf between the ex-president and the most powerful elected Republican in the country. The CPAC forum is a chance for political hopefuls and presidential contenders to prove they're conservative bona fides. This year's speaker list includes former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Notably absent from the event are two high-profile Republicans who were once close allies of Trump: former Vice President Mike Pence and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. Pence drew hostile criticism from the president for his role in certifying the 2020 election results despite Trump's false claims the outcome was fraudulent. Haley condemned Trump after the Capital riot in an interview with Politico.

Another source told Reuters Haley requested to meet with Trump recently at his Florida estate, but was rebuffed.